Send to

Choose Destination
Respir Physiol Neurobiol. 2008 Dec 10;164(1-2):72-9. doi: 10.1016/j.resp.2008.06.013.

Postnatal emergence of synaptic plasticity associated with dynamic adaptation of the respiratory motor pattern.

Author information

CNRS UMR 6231, Centre de Recherche en Neurobiologie et Neurophysiologie de Marseille, Faculté Saint Jérôme, Case 362, 13397 Marseille Cedex 20, France.


The shape of the three-phase respiratory motor pattern (inspiration, postinspiration, late expiration) is controlled by a central pattern generator (CPG) located in the ponto-medullary brainstem. Synaptic interactions between and within specific sub-compartments of the CPG are subject of intensive research. This review addresses the neural control of postinspiratory activity as the essential determinant of inspiratory/expiratory phase duration. The generation of the postinspiratory phase depends on synaptic interaction between neurones of the nucleus tractus solitarii (NTS), which relay afferent inputs from pulmonary stretch receptors, and the pontine Kölliker-Fuse nucleus (KF) as integral parts of the CPG. Both regions undergo significant changes during the first three postnatal weeks in rodents. Developmental changes in glutamatergic synaptic functions and its modulation by brain-derived neurotrophic factor may have implications in synaptic plasticity within the NTS/KF axis. We propose that dependent on these developmental changes, the CPG becomes permissive for short- and long-term plasticity associated with environmental, metabolic and behavioural adaptation of the breathing pattern.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center